Look, we can debate the proper and private way to do Captchas all day, but if we remove the existing implementation we will be plunged into a world of hurt.

I run tucson.social - a tiny instance with barely any users and I find myself really ticked off at other Admin’s abdication of duty when it comes to engaging with the developers.

For all the Fediverse discussion on this, where are the github issue comments? Where is our attempt to convince the devs in this.

No, seriously WHERE ARE THEY?

Oh, you think that just because an “Issue” exists to bring back Captchas is the best you can do?

NO it is not the best we can do, we need to be applying some pressure to the developers here and that requires EVERYONE to do their part.

The Devs can’t make Lemmy an awesome place for us if us admins refuse to meaningfully engage with the project and provide feedback on crucial things like this.

So are you an admin? If so, we need more comments here: https://github.com/LemmyNet/lemmy/issues/3200

We need to make it VERY clear that Captcha is required before v0.18’s release. Not after when we’ll all be scrambling…

EDIT: To be clear I’m talking to all instance admins, not just Beehaw’s.

UPDATE: Our voices were heard! https://github.com/LemmyNet/lemmy/issues/3200#issuecomment-1600505757

The important part was that this was a decision to re-implement the old (if imperfect) solution in time for the upcoming release. mCaptcha and better techs are indeed the better solution, but at least we won’t make ourselves more vulnerable at this critical juncture.

  • @[email protected]
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    2010 months ago

    Captchas pretty much worthless. They’re easily bypassed for basically free. You’re better off putting your instance behind Cloudflare with their captcha

    • th3raid0rOPA
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      910 months ago

      Okay, so do you mind explaining why the servers onboarding the most spam users are the ones without Captchas?

      If they are so ineffective, why are they effective now?

      • @[email protected]
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        1310 months ago

        Invisible captchas are about as useful as graphical ones and are significantly less annoying to the end user

        • th3raid0rOPA
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          1210 months ago

          Sure, so implement them in v.0.18 rather than leaving that essential feature for a future release - that’s all I personally want.

          I don’t care about the technical implementation of the Captcha, but given the current threat landscape of low effort bot attacks, removing the feature in the meantime just makes the fediverse worse off.

        • redcalcium
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          10 months ago

          I’m mixed about this. When applied correctly, a graphical captcha will let zero bots in, at the expense of false positives and frustrated users. On the other hand, invisible / proof-of-work captchas will let a fraction of the bots in (blocking majority but not all bots, by design), while providing better experience for legitimate users. Pick your poison basically.

          • @[email protected]
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            910 months ago

            When applied correctly, a graphical captcha will let zero bots in

            Absolutely untrue. There are services that will solve captchas for you for hundredths of a penny. It’s essentially free.

            • redcalcium
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              10 months ago

              Then it’s no longer only a bot, right? There are real humans working on those captcha farm. Those captcha farm also won’t solve the captcha instantly, but there will be some delays for a human to solve the captcha. You’re effectively turning graphical captcha into proof-of-work captcha this way, which will have the same effect as mCaptcha due to increased cost (in this case, captcha farm cost instead of computational cost) for the bot operator.

            • th3raid0rOPA
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              210 months ago

              To be fair, “Captcha” can now mean those ai photo discrimination tests. Captcha: “Select the cats” - Me: “You call these cats?” Looks at the cartoon depictions of nightmare fuel “cats” as depicted by Picasso.

              There are still graphical tests we perform that are much harder for computers to perform - at least without near-nation-state sized financial backing.

              Yes, the ol’ scrambled captcha has been solved by multiple approaches these days, but Its not nation states I’m seeking to keep out (and I’ll be fucked if they ever did, I might add), I’m just looking to make it harder for some internet edgelord’s low effort spam attempts.

              • @[email protected]
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                210 months ago

                Sure but you can pay a company in India a few bucks for a few hundred captcha solves. It doesn’t matter what the captcha is, because a human is actually solving them, you’re just outsourcing it for literal pennies. It’s not difficult, either

                • th3raid0rOPA
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                  410 months ago

                  Look, you keep returning back to a point I’m not making, and it seems like its in bad faith.

                  You keep saying how captcha’s aren’t perfect. They never needed to be and any sufficiently advanced attacker can bypass them. We’ve gone over that at length, you returning to this argument just shows how little else you have than “Mondays always suck” / “Evil shall persist” mindset.

                  Your entire position of chasing me on “oh, but captcha doesn’t solve ALLLLLL bots”. Yeah, and laws don’t deter ALLL crime either.

                  Shall we remove these pesky laws of civil society? I mean, after all why abide by rules that any one person can chose not to follow the laws? What good are they anyways?

                  You know it’s an inane point that has no logical conclusion, but I think you probably already know that and I’m done assuming good faith in your trolling.

                  • @[email protected]
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                    210 months ago

                    Seems to me like you’re mis-framing what’s being said to fit your argument and claim the other person as a troll. No one has made a claim about stopping “ALLLLLL” bots or “perfection”. It’s about whether it stops enough to matter. And I think it’s safe to assume if someone had the interest and capability to write a bot, they can probably google “how to defeat captcha” and implement one of them. If there’s currently not a flood of bot accounts, I believe it’s from a lack of caring rather than the captchas doing anything.

                    There are solutions for bots, they should be implemented, but keeping the existing captcha isn’t worth it. Multiple things can be true, but I get the feeling you’re set enough in your opinion that you’re going to (continue to) attack the character of anyone who disagrees.

      • poVoq
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        710 months ago

        Because this spam-bot seems to be currently only targeting these instances.

        • th3raid0rOPA
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          910 months ago

          So what you’re saying is that a poorly constructed door is better than none at all? Huh. That was my exact point.

          • poVoq
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            10 months ago

            No I am saying the this bot seems to specifically look for instances without captcha and doesn’t even try others. Low hanging fruits and all that. If all admins enable captchas the bot would just switch to those and circumvent the cheap captcha that is currently implemented in Lemmy.

            • th3raid0rOPA
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              610 months ago

              So the solution is to force everyone to be low hanging fruit in the meantime?

              Look, I get where everyone is going in terms of improvements, but to remove an already working solution and leaving folks exposed in the meantime is not how we should be rolling improvements.

              • poVoq
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                810 months ago

                See my other comment. Lemmy already implements other ways to prevent this from happening that are much more effective.

                • th3raid0rOPA
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                  310 months ago

                  Email validation works only until my domain get’s blacklisted…

                  Manual registration only works up until a certain size…

                  What other effective solution shall I consider? Those aren’t very effective to me.

                  • poVoq
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                    910 months ago

                    If you reach a size where manual approval doesn’t work anymore you should seriously consider closing registration completely or increase the size of your admin team.

    • Sir Gareth
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      310 months ago

      While I agree in the practical sense (I use CloudFlare myself), it kind of goes against the spirit of the fediverse as it centralises around a single corporation.

      • @[email protected]
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        310 months ago

        I don’t fully understand your argument. You’re using a centralized caching layer, sure, but the actual application that matters is still federated?

        • Sir Gareth
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          110 months ago

          CloudFlare increases centralisation on the internet. It’s not binary, just using CloudFlare doesn’t make the whole thing centralised, but it increases dependency of a centralised, corporate controlled system. I can 100% understand using CloudFlare, they provide an incredible service, but we should be cognisant of our dependence on these services.